Squeeze a Little Extra Magic Out of Disney World With These 11 Unexpected Activities
Looking for a new activity at Walt Disney World? There's plenty to do that's also completely unexpected (and family-friendly)! So while people think of walking down Main Street U.S.A., munching on a Mickey Premium ice cream bar, or getting ready to fly the Millennium Falcon inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge when they think of Disney World, there's actually so much more to do. Like, did you know you could swim with fish at Epcot or do a free food tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge? There's a whole other list of activities and fun at the massive resort that most guests and families never see — even though they're so fun. In fact, we've done a few of these ourselves, and can nearly guarantee that they're perfect for your family to try on your next visit to Walt Disney World! Click through to see all of the unexpected — yet still just as magical — things you can do at the most magical place on Earth.
Dine With a Walt Disney Imagineer
At Disney's Hollywood Studios or at Citricos at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, guests over 14 can experience Dining With a Walt Disney Imagineer. During the meal, you can ask questions about what Imagineers do, what projects they've worked on, and what it's like creating theme parks. For kids who have an interest in what goes on behind the scenes at Disney, engineering, or creative arts, this is a great experience.
Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling at Epcot
Over at Epcot's Living Seas Pavilions, anyone over 8 can experience an aqua tour of one of the massive tanks inside the pavilion. The whole experience is about two and half hours, but the actual snorkeling lasts about 30 minutes. For guests over 10, you can do a scuba tour with a 40 minute scuba dive in the tanks — and even encounter guests dining at the restaurant inside the pavilion, The Coral Reef.
Experience an Elephant Tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
For families who love animals and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, we highly recommend checking out the Caring For Giants tour offered daily. This hour-long tour offers guests 4 and older the chance to get as close as 80 feet to an elephant while learning about the animal's natural African habitat and Disney's efforts to conserve the gentle giant.
Rent a Fishing Boat
At several Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, families can rent a pontoon boat to go fishing or just explore the lakes surrounding Magic Kingdom or Epcot. We love to do this at the Magic Kingdom resorts (Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Campgrounds) because there's a larger space to explore. You pay by the hour, so can rent boats for as long as you like. This is a great activity for a day that your family might not want to go into the parks, but still wants an adventurous activity.
Learn to Surf at Typhoon Lagoon
Over at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, guests 8 and older are invited to learn how to surf in the wave pool. The classes are small, and luckily, you don't need to know how to surf before you head in. We love this activity because it's something the whole family can do together and it's a chance to enjoy the water park before it opens for the day to regular guests.
Shoot Hoops Like an NBA Player
The newly opened NBA Experience at Disney Springs gives family members of all ages the chance to suit up and test their basketball skills against professional NBA players. Inside the complex you'll find games, interactive exhibits, and an area to see how you match up against some of the best players of all time. This is a great activity for rainy days or a day you might be planning to spend at Disney Springs.
Run in a Resort Fun Run
Over at Disney's Port Orleans - French Quarter, families can participate in a beignet fun run around the resort. The race is open to kids and adults of all ages, and you don't have to be staying at Port Orleans - French Quarter to participate; just tell the guard at the entrance of the resort you're there for the run. Races are held most Sundays, and at the end of the race ever participant gets a medal and a warm beignet . . . yum!
Taste the Flavors of Africa on a Free Food Tour
One of our favorite free activities at Walt Disney World is the food tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. The tour is offered on select days, so you'll want to check the resort activity schedule for exact dates and times. You'll make your way through Jiko and Boma to learn about the restaurant's designs and food while getting samples of some of the items from the menu, including Jiko's bread service and Boma's soup of the day and legendary zebra domes.
Kids Will Love a Pirate Adventure Cruise
Kids 4 to 12 can partake in a two-hour experience searching for treasure with real pirates on the Pirate Adventure Cruise! This is a great time for parents to get some alone time or head to the spa while kids are becoming a pirate. For an enhanced experience, kids might want to take part in the Pirates League at Magic Kingdom, which is a pirate version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and get transformed into a pirate for the day.
Help Vanellope and Ralph at the Void
If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to play a real game of Pancake Milkshake with the characters from Wreck-It Ralph, you're family is going to want to check out the Void at Disney Springs. This virtual experience takes guests on a journey into the internet with Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz. All guests must be 48 inches or taller to experience the Void.
Unveil Your Inner Artist at a Painting Class
On days when your family wants to relax at the resort and skip out on the busy parks, consider taking a painting class! Classes are for all guests 12 and older and are offered at multiple locations throughout Walt Disney World, including Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney's Port Orleans - French Quarter, Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and Disney's BoardWalk Inn. You get a relaxing activity and everyone who participates gets a fun souvenir to bring home!